The most recent review published on The Higher Flyer evaluates international business class onboard American Airlines’s now-retired fleet of Boeing 767s. There’s nothing particularly exciting nor noteworthy about the experience, but with lie-flat seats, direct aisle access for all passengers, and upgraded dining options on offer, your expectations for a product marketed as “Flagship Business” are likely going to be met but not exceeded. It delivers all that you could want in decidedly-average fashion, but because the fares are prohibitively expensive, it’s nearly impossible for me to recommend it. When compared to significantly cheaper, if not better, alternatives, it’s the textbook definition of a terrible deal… although some might disagree with that assessment. There’s an inherent ambiguousness to higher flying reflected here, and that poses an interesting question: what makes a “good value” good?
Spending lots of money without getting any tangible pleasures in return isn’t fun, no matter how important a purchase might be. Nobody likes saving and then subsequently dropping thousands of dollars to, say, repair the roof. A leaky ceiling sure is problematic, and you’d save a bit on heating costs in the long run, but no one is getting hyped about buying new shingles. That necessary investment can’t compare to the thrill of driving a luxury car straight off the lot, or better yet, flying around the world in first class.